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The Best Post-Election Quotes: Governors Mark Dayton and Bobby Jindal

After having a both Democratic governor and a Tea-Party Republican legislature for
two years, the Minnesota Republicans were swept out of office. Minnesota now
has a Democratic governor and a Democratic legislature. Here’s Dayton’s
comment:The easier two years are over, and the harder two years are now
beginning, because we have the added responsibility to lead. And this is a
responsibility I welcome, but given the challenges the state faces and our
country faces these days, it’ll be a lot of hard work.His comment is indicative of the shift to single-party
dominance in state governments. Eight years ago, 30 capitals were divided
between the parties. After the election only 11 capitals are divided. This is a
time for caution, not celebration. Mark Waller, the newly elected Republican
leader in Colorado reflects my sentiments exactly: The Democrats absolutely have the votes to do anything they want to do,
but that’s a pretty tricky proposition. They’ve got to be very careful about
how they do what they do.And the
RepublicansWith the Republican shock in
national elections, where the House retained Republican control, but without
the popular vote, no Republican sounded more intelligent than Governor Bobby
Jindal of Louisiana.  He argued that the
Republicans need to “stop being the stupid party” and make a concerted effort
to reach a broader swath of voters with an inclusive economic message that
pre-empts efforts to caricature the GOP as the party of the rich.”We’ve got to make sure that we
are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big
corporate loopholes, big anything. We cannot be, we must not be, the party that
simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.The Loyal OppositionOver the recent years, the
American political system has been in disarray. It’s orientation has too often
been to power rather than to the good of the country. This is best epitomized
by Senator Mitch McConnell’s stated fundamental goal of removing President
Obama in the election. To hell with the nation, the community and its needs.
Bobby Jindal strikes a more appropriate perspective. His tenure has indicated
his focus on serving the community, rather than the mere power needs of the few
and the wealthy.Although the sense of a “loyal
opposition” might be useful and exceptionally appropriate, America has no sense
of that concept. The concept comes out of parliamentary systems of government
and is applied to the non-ruling opposition parties. It indicates that the non-governing
parties may oppose the actions of the sitting powers while remaining loyal to
the source of the government’s power.America and Americans could use a
modified notion of the loyal opposition in this century. It would understand
the source of the government’s power as the electorate and the American
community, rather than a monarchy. It would shift the focus to the nation
rather than merely upon regaining power. It’s idealistic, but a conversation
could be very helpful to educate both legislators and the American constituency.Why I love
politicsDavid Brooks’ column, urging his readers to see “Lincoln”
argues similarly, but from a different perspective. Commenting that we live in
an “anti-political moment,” he writes that Spielberg and Kushner’s film “shows
that you can do more good in politics than in any other sphere.”He summarizes my own perspective about politics exactly: You can end slavery, open opportunity and
fight poverty. But you can achieve these things only if you are willing to
stain your own character in order to serve others—if you are willing to
bamboozle, trim, compromise and be slippery and hypocritical. The challenge of politics lies precisely in the marriage
of high vision and low cunning. Spielberg’s “Lincoln” gets this point. The hero
has a high moral vision, but he also has the courage to take morally hazardous
action in order to make that vision a reality.To lead his country through a war, to finagle
his ideas through Congress, Lincoln feels compelled to ignore court decisions,
dole out patronage, play legalistic games, deceive his supporters and accept
the fact that every time he addresses one problem he ends up creating others
down the road. Politics is noble because it involves
personal compromise for the public good.Happily,
I believe both Dayton and Jindal get that!Flickr photos: Mark Dayton by easy stand, and Bobby Jindal by Derek Bridges 
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After having a both Democratic governor and a Tea-Party Republican legislature for two years, the Minnesota Republicans were swept out of office. Minnesota now has a Democratic governor and a Democratic legislature. Here’s Dayton’s comment:

The easier two years are over, and the harder two years are now beginning, because we have the added responsibility to lead. And this is a responsibility I welcome, but given the challenges the state faces and our country faces these days, it’ll be a lot of hard work.


Dayton 240
His comment is indicative of the shift to single-party dominance in state governments. Eight years ago, 30 capitals were divided between the parties. After the election only 11 capitals are divided. This is a time for caution, not celebration. Mark Waller, the newly elected Republican leader in Colorado reflects my sentiments exactly: The Democrats absolutely have the votes to do anything they want to do, but that’s a pretty tricky proposition. They’ve got to be very careful about how they do what they do.

And the Republicans

With the Republican shock in national elections, where the House retained Republican control, but without the popular vote, no Republican sounded more intelligent than Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.  He argued that the Republicans need to “stop being the stupid party” and make a concerted effort to reach a broader swath of voters with an inclusive economic message that pre-empts efforts to caricature the GOP as the party of the rich.”

Jindal
We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything. We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.

The Loyal Opposition

Over the recent years, the American political system has been in disarray. It’s orientation has too often been to power rather than to the good of the country. This is best epitomized by Senator Mitch McConnell’s stated fundamental goal of removing President Obama in the election. To hell with the nation, the community and its needs. Bobby Jindal strikes a more appropriate perspective. His tenure has indicated his focus on serving the community, rather than the mere power needs of the few and the wealthy.

Although the sense of a “loyal opposition” might be useful and exceptionally appropriate, America has no sense of that concept. The concept comes out of parliamentary systems of government and is applied to the non-ruling opposition parties. It indicates that the non-governing parties may oppose the actions of the sitting powers while remaining loyal to the source of the government’s power.

America and Americans could use a modified notion of the loyal opposition in this century. It would understand the source of the government’s power as the electorate and the American community, rather than a monarchy. It would shift the focus to the nation rather than merely upon regaining power. It’s idealistic, but a conversation could be very helpful to educate both legislators and the American constituency.

Why I love politics
David Brooks’ column, urging his readers to see “Lincoln” argues similarly, but from a different perspective. Commenting that we live in an “anti-political moment,” he writes that Spielberg and Kushner’s film “shows that you can do more good in politics than in any other sphere.”

He summarizes my own perspective about politics exactly: You can end slavery, open opportunity and fight poverty. But you can achieve these things only if you are willing to stain your own character in order to serve others—if you are willing to bamboozle, trim, compromise and be slippery and hypocritical.The challenge of politics lies precisely in the marriage of high vision and low cunning. Spielberg’s “Lincoln” gets this point. The hero has a high moral vision, but he also has the courage to take morally hazardous action in order to make that vision a reality.

To lead his country through a war, to finagle his ideas through Congress, Lincoln feels compelled to ignore court decisions, dole out patronage, play legalistic games, deceive his supporters and accept the fact that every time he addresses one problem he ends up creating others down the road.

Politics is noble because it involves personal compromise for the public good.

Happily, I believe both Dayton and Jindal get that!

Flickr photos: Mark Dayton by easy stand, and Bobby Jindal by Derek Bridges 

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